While men love autonomy, we need relationships more than anything else and nothing drives success like a mentor relationship.

Mentorship and discipleship was the key to Jesus’ success. In this Resolute Podcast, Vince Miller is joined by Greg Bourgond, founder of Heart Of A Warrior ministries, who is a prolific author (A Rattling of Sabers), men’s leader, and mentor to men. Today they discuss why men need mentors in their life and the benefits of male spiritual relationships.



Vince: This is Resolute and the Resolute Leadership Podcast. I am Vince Miller, your founder, and host. Today we’re in a new series entitled, “Mentorship.” Today discussing the topic of why men need mentors.

Welcome to the program. If this is your first time tuning in, well then thank you for joining us. Our mission at Resolute is to disciple and develop men to lead. So if you’re looking for content for your men’s group or even your men’s ministry – then you need to go to our website today at beresolute.org. If you want to follow us, on any form of social media – go to Facebook or LinkedIn, you can follow us there. Or if you like to listen, on your own feed, you can find us always in iTunes or on SoundCloud. But gentlemen, let’s dive in.

Today I am joined again by one of my good friends, Doctor Greg Bourgond. Doctor Bourgond is the President of Heart of the Warrior Ministries. He’s worked with men for over 40 years. He has been heavily involved in mentorship over those years. And so I’m excited to welcome him to the program today. Greg, welcome to the show.

Greg: It’s good to be here.

Vince: Well I gotta tell you, I – I am so pumped about these particular interviews. Specifically, because we couldn’t have a better mentor of mentors on this program today. I know that you’ve been mentoring guys for how many years, Greg?

Greg: 42 years.

Vince: 42. So I’d say that calls you – we could call you an expert in this line of work. And I’m sure you’ve learned a few things over the years to do and not to do. But I really want to begin today with really the purpose behind this. Like we need to talk about why mentoring is important. Because I think in our society today, we have – even though mentoring’s a little bit of a buzz word right now in the workplace, it means something more to that in the Christian kingdom. It is the link probably between our success and failure. And why don’t you tell or share with us a little bit about why you believe that mentoring is important for men?

Greg: Well my mentor is J Robert Clinton, who has invested in my life. And it seems at all the critical junctures of my life when I’ve had to make some very difficult decision. Bobby was there and available to me. And he didn’t make the decision for me, but he gave me environmental ideas and factors that helped me make what I see in retrospect, the right decision.

But it goes back further than that. Every man I know, that I’ve ever spoken to has never been satisfied with living in the misty land of mediocrity. But they don’t know how to get out of there.
Vince: Right.

Vince: Right.

Greg: No one’s come alongside them. They just haven’t got a clue as to who to ask or who to talk to. And so consequently, they end up wallowing in mediocrity. Despondent over the fact they may never realize the potential God’s placed in them. I’m reading a book that’s just been recently published by Erwin McManus, called, “The Last Arrow.” And he talks about the idea that we’re born with a quiver of arrows which represent our potential. And some of us go to our grave never having released any of those arrows. We arrange them, we make sure they’re in good working order. But we’ve never released them.
And so the idea is, is that if we’re going to move out of the misty little line of mediocrity. If we’re going to live a life that matters. If we’re going to finish well, we just can’t take that journey by ourselves. We need to bring people alongside us. Sometimes we need a sage on the stage in our life, that will tell us the truth and speak truth into our lives, even though we may not want to hear it. Other times, we need a guide on the side.

Somebody who’ll come alongside us. See what’s potentially in us. Even though we’re not able to articulate it, they see it and know how to pull it from us. And so that we can be all who God intended us to be. It’s interesting – there’s some research that indicates that anybody who has finished well has had anywhere from 10 to 15 mentors in their life.
Vince: See, and don’t you think that guys have almost this propensity to just think that they can do life alone, and by ourselves? Yet it leads to this mediocrity and lots of potential, with no production in our life.

Vince: See, and don’t you think that guys have almost this propensity to just think that they can do life alone, and by ourselves? Yet it leads to this mediocrity and lots of potential, with no production in our life.
Greg: Well we have this independent mentality. And the enemy knows that quite well. And so he’s waiting to call us from the crowd or the herd. Because then we’ll be susceptible to his wiles. When I counsel men, or I mentor men – it’s interesting that, when they’re in trouble, when they’re having difficulty – they have a tendency to isolate themselves. Thinking that they’re going to be able to put their life back together, and then join the herd again.

Vince: Yeah.
Greg: But the fact of the matter is, they rarely do.

Greg: But the fact of the matter is, they rarely do.

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: And so it’s almost an opposite. That that’s the very time when you want to be alone and lick your wounds, that you need to bring somebody alongside you. And so you have to go counter to what your natural inclination is. And to lean into your fear, and bring somebody alongside you.

Vince: Yeah, we’ve talked about that before, right? Where we as men have to gain the courage to engage the battle, right? And the battle is something that happens within us. Paul describes that vividly throughout his letters. That there’s a spiritual battle happening within us. And that battle within us, I think – most of the time, for men, spiritually – is apathy. We engage all parts of life and sometimes engage them very robustly. But when it comes to our spiritual lives, sometimes we don’t engage. We retract from the battle. Maybe because of fears of the unknown, maybe it’s we’re scared of ourselves, maybe it’s shame or regret that we have from the past? And so we don’t engage. And consistently, Greg – I have heard you say, “We have to lean into this.”

Greg: Yeah.

Vince: And it requires some self-initiative to seek out that mentor, and not live in that apathy. It’s almost like, we have to overcome the impulse to live in that apathy. To just be comfortable with the way things are. Because then it’s just – like you said – you use the word, “mediocrity.” I think that’s beautiful. Or we just sit in this quiver of potential, and we move those quivers around. That’s a great vivid image for me. And we don’t want to live that. We want to shoot those arrows, we want to take them out and use them for what they’re to be used for.

Greg: It’s much easier to go ahead and articulate a passion in your soul without initiating it. And I’ve worked with too many men who keep telling me what – the passion that God’s given them and their soul, but have never pulled a trigger to do anything about it. And so they seem to be satisfied with just articulating and not acting on it. Because it’s a fearful proposition. Because you take risks.

Vince: Right.

Greg: Ewrin, the author of, “The Last Arrow,” said that courage has never been the absence of fear. It’s always been the absence of self. And so it takes some initiative. You’ve got to be willing to put the past on the altar and burn it and move ahead, and not be encumbered or chained by failures in the past, and bring people alongside you that will help you release your arrow of potential – so it becomes a reality, rather than just a dream. And so men are designed to – a cause to die for, a challenge to embrace, loved one to protect. We’ve talked about that before. And if you want a cause to die for, you need to know how to engage it without killing yourself in the process.

Vince: Right.

Greg: And that takes another brother.

Vince: Right.

Greg: To come alongside you at the particular moment in time. And it’s not just any brother, it just depends on what your mentoring need is at the moment.

Vince: At the time, right. Exactly.

Greg: And I’m sure we’ll be talking about the different types of mentors–

Vince: Right.

Greg: And different types of needs. But the fact of the matter is, is that if you can’t articulate what your need is – how is somebody going to be able to resolve it for you?

Vince: Right. I – you probably have heard this story before through the lives of a lot of other men, Greg. But I gotta tell you, I– I, myself – for many years of my life, went completely mentor-less. The fact of the matter is, I did ask people to step in – and no one did. I always heard 2 excuses. They were, “I don’t have the time,” and “I don’t know what to do.” And I believe those are the classic apathetic responses of numerous capable men who have time to step in. I believe that mentorship is what heals the forward movement of the gospel. And it’s men engaging, pushing through the fear of the unknown. And what they may not know how to do. And taking the time to do it. Because God passed us a baton of discipleship, right?

Greg: Yes.

Vince: And I believe that when he passed us that baton of discipleship by coming and living with us, right? He very purposely gathered 12 men around them. And then said, “Hey guys, I’m leaving. I’m handing you the baton of discipleship.” And really if you think about it, Greg – we’re sitting here today having this conversation, because of what Jesus Christ did with those 12 dudes.

Greg: Yeah, yeah.

Vince: And it’s a very simple linchpin, right? But we have to not live in the silence of that. We have to re-engage that, and push through the fears of what we don’t know how to do, and what we don’t – maybe don’t feel like we have time to do, right?

Greg: Well yeah, I wonder if it’s really an issue of time, rather than an issue of, “I haven’t got a clue how to mentor somebody.” Or, “And it’s going to take up too much time.” Or, “If I go ahead and mentor this guy, I’m going to be chained to him for the rest of my life. Like I don’t want to do that.”

Vince: Yeah.

Greg: But you know what scripture says. I think what you’re alluding to Vince, is the scripture says that what we have learned, we’re to pass on to others.

Vince: Yes.

Greg: And so consequently – I mean – that’s releasing the arrow as well. You go through life – like I said, I’m in the winter of my leadership. I’ll be 70 in July. But I want to crash through the gates of hell, having left everything on the field of engagement. And so I make no excuses for wanting to come alongside a guy, hold him accountable. Help him become who God’s called him to be. And most men I know are just totally unaware of how God’s wired them. And how they can leverage that wiring for God’s redemptive purposes, and come to a position in their life where they reach what my mentor calls, “Convergence.” Which is getting to a place in your life, where 80% of who you are overlaps 80% of what you do.

That means increased effectiveness. That means increased efficiency. That means you’re honoring what God placed in you. That means you’re not going to be embarrassed at the judgment state of Christ when you have to give an account for what you’ve done in the faith, and he’s expecting an ROI – a return on his investment.
Vince: Right.

Vince: Right.

Greg: And you’re not going to say– You won’t have to be fearful of saying, “Well I buried it in the ground and I’m giving it back to you as I received it.”

Vince: Yeah, that’s beautiful and I– I – the only part I disagree with is the fact that you’re in the winter of your leadership. I think that God has given you an incredible gift, Greg. To be able to speak to men purposefully. I mean, even the conversations we have right now are mentoring to me and lots of other men. And I think you’re saying the same thing I’m saying. Which is – we need to engage with mentorship. It is the methodology that Jesus deployed. We need to push through our fears, overcome the obstacles, lean into it. Because guys – if you’re listening, I hope you heard Greg say it. Don’t be mediocre.

Greg: That’s right.

Vince: Which is a nice way to say, “Don’t be a loser,” right? And I think that – guys, we need you. We need you as Christian men and leaders to pass on to the next generation hopes for the kingdom. And it’s not like God has to use you. But he wants to, right?

Greg: Well, don’t be satisfied with average.

Vince: Yeah, there you go. Greg: In God’s kingdom, we’re not average.

Greg: In God’s kingdom, we’re not average.
Vince: I know.

Vince: I know.

Greg: I mean, he’s indented our formation in our mother’s womb. He knew us before we ever were. He set the days that we would live on this earth. He prepared in advance a purpose for our life. So it’s aligning you with that purpose that brings significance and meaningfulness to our life. So don’t be satisfied with average.

Vince: Yeah. And guys need to hear that, don’t we? Because maybe it might be just a little bit of that competitive spirit that might move a guy a little bit today. I love what you said. I want to see if I don’t mutilate this quote. But you used a quote from one of your close mentors today, who wrote the book – it’s called, “The Last Arrow.” Is that right?
Greg: Yes, yeah.

Greg: Yes, yeah.

Vince: Erwin McManus, he said, “Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s the–”

Greg: Absence of self.

Vince: Absence of self.

Greg: So in other words, what – saying is – is that “We’re going to be fearful, but that’s not to encumber us. That’s not to limit us.” Fear is a good thing because it means we’re going to take whatever we engage seriously. We’re going to weigh the cost. But we need to lean into that fear, embrace the unknown – and God will take us to places we have never been. To mountaintops, we had never climbed. To valleys, we’ve never seen. To horizons, we’ve never visualized. And so the whole idea is, is that – there’s an adventure out there. And who wants to go ahead and stay home with your bags packed, thinking about what could’ve been on the journey? Let’s take the journey. But we can’t take it alone.

Vince: Yeah. Here’s a verse for us as we end today, Greg. Maybe something that might inspire the guys? Second Timothy 1:14. Guard the deposit that was entrusted to you. That God gave you something, right? Guard the deposit that was entrusted to you. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. And entrust it to others, right? Entrust this to others. Well Greg, thank you for being with us.

And that’s the show. Thanks for listening. As we close, I want to remind you that we have great content for your men’s groups, excellent small group videos and participant handbooks that will empower the men of your church to lead. And equip them to build the men around them. You’ve got to check out our newest series. It’s entitled “Defeating Repetitive Sin For Men.” Check it all out at beresolute.org. Or you can just send me a direct email at [email protected]. I’d love to speak with you guys.

And as always, I hope you enjoy this podcast. But please know that the time that we spent together today is worthless unless you choose to do something with it. So act on it. Do something right now today. By getting off the bench and into the game. And I’ll see you right back here next time for another edition of the Resolute Podcast.